Fired For Praying? - My9 New Jersey

Fired For Praying?

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A beloved Rutgers University bus driver was allegedly forced to resign from his job and students at the school say they want their champ back. 

Stan McNeil, was a bus driver for Rutgers up until last week. That is when he was pulled into an office at the university and told it was unacceptable to pray for a student.

McNeil admits that he put his hands on a female passenger who is wheelchair bound and prayed for her.  He says that's what cost him his job.

Students have started a social media campaign to get the word out and helped him put together a video to explain the event in a YouTube video to the students.

Stan explains the event, “I was pulled in the office and I was told that my service wasn’t needed anymore. I was told that they didn’t accept the fact that I laid hands and prayed on one of the students. So I said okay.”

In the video, he said they didn’t want to fire for him so they suggested he resign.

First Transit, not Rutgers, is the company in charge of the bus drivers on the Rutgers campus. They said that McNeil was let go, because he did not properly strap in a handicapped student.

In a statement to Chasing New Jersey a company spokesperson wrote:  "First Transit has long appreciated Mr. McNeil’s rapport with the students he transports at Rutgers University. We respect both his religious beliefs and the many positive messages he shared with the students. We likewise respect the beliefs and practices of all the Rutgers Students who choose to interact with Mr. McNeil."

It goes on to say:  "This case is about safety, which is a core value of First Transit. All of our vehicle operators are instructed, 'If it can’t be done safely, don’t do it.' A full internal review revealed that Mr. McNeil failed to follow a critical safety protocol. There are four points of restraint for safely securing a wheelchair on a bus. Mr. McNeil secured only two of them. First Transit’s safety guidelines state that 'failure to properly secure wheelchairs or other mobility devices is identified as a safety offense appropriate for discharge.'"

When advised of his violation, McNeil chose to resign, according to the bus company.

Now, motivational speeches and prayer are not uncommon from McNeil. In fact, he is known for his dynamic speeches. When a video of one of his inspirational speeches went viral it received more than 166,614 hits. Stan has more than 2,500 followers on Twitter (@busdriverLX), and a Facebook page.

Supporters have even started a change.org petition that already has 4,364 signatures. Ashley Park, an alumni who signed the petition also wrote: "All he did was show he cared. I'm not religious but I never felt pressure to convert when riding Stan's bus."

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